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December 2014

    Vol 3 Issue 4 

From the Editor 



As we enter the holiday season, I'd like to take a moment to reflect back on why we do the work we do. Holidays are a time that brings together friends and family and often presents moments of gratitude and appreciation. First of all, I would like to thank all of my colleagues at the Cancer Registry of Greater California for their warm welcome when I came aboard August 25th. A special thanks to Katheryne Vance for showing me the ropes of all that is involved in Education and Training!


Secondly, I have found a renewed sense of purpose in my CRGC position - both because it is a new position for me and because of a family member's experience with cancer. We all know of someone (a friend, a family member, or even ourselves) who has been diagnosed with cancer. When this happens, as it happened recently with me when my 22 year old niece was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, we do all that we can to help: research the best treatment and best facilities, and with our knowledge base try to help support those directly affected. Because of advancements with gene targeted therapy and the fact that she tested positive for ROS1, I am happy to say that my niece is responding very well to her chemo. An avid runner and a never smoker, she continues to run in fundraising events to help spread the word that lung cancer can occur in anyone with lungs and to help abolish the stigma that lung cancer patients have endured. Advancements in diagnosis and treatment continue to be made throughout the cancer spectrum and some of our strongest weapons in this fight against cancer are knowledge and hope.


In this issue John Morgan, DrPH, talks about the demographic predictors of delayed stage cervical cancer in California and has an interesting finding and suggestion for targeted screening.


Also in this issue is an article by Scott Riddle about a process developed at CRGC to find potentially missing cases from your transmit files. You'll definitely want to read about this!


Winny Roshala talks about the SEER Data Quality Profile Goals. As you will see, the tables show how well CRGC meets these goals due to the high quality data you submit. 


And we have a treat for all of you! Our own Becky Cassady and Dr. John Morgan from Region 5 describe their trip to West Africa to help with establishing a cancer registry in a private hospital in Ghana in the midst of the Ebola outbreak.


As you read these articles I hope you become re-energized about the work that you do! It is important work and work that often times goes unnoticed. So a big thank you to all of you for doing your very best in identifying and collecting accurate, complete, and timely cancer data. Together we can make a difference!






Demographic predictors of delayed-stage cervical cancer in California

John W. Morgan, DrPH, CPH

Epidemiologist, Regions 4 and 5 of CRGC



Ignoring other demographic characteristics, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women experience highest age-adjusted cervical cancer mortality in the United States, followed by non-Hispanic white and Asian/Other women. Nearly all deaths from cervical cancer occur among women diagnosed at delayed-stage (AJCC stages II-IV), while treatment of cervical cancer diagnosed at stage I (early-stage) is frequently curative. The non-modifiable character of race and ethnicity and the mingling of race/ethnic effects with age, socioeconomic status (SES) and marital status challenges how this information can be most efficiently used to target subgroups of California women for intensified screening that prevents the most deaths from cervical cancer. The California Cancer Registry (CCR) comprises the three largest SEER program registries and includes data that provides distinction between age, race/ethnicity, SES and marital status as predictors of delayed- versus early-stage cervical cancer. 


To continue this article click here.


Have you ever received a followback request from the Region asking to send a case because they received a Follow Up or Correction record from you? Upon researching the case in your database, you find that it was transmitted in the past and you're left wondering why the region is asking for a case that was supposedly sent years ago. You create a retransmit, send it to the Region, and hope that's the end of the issue. But a month or two later you get another request...


SEER Data Quality Profile Goals

Winny Roshala, BA, CTR, Director, CRGC Data Quality 

The SEER Program is viewed as the standard for quality among cancer registries around the world.


The SEER Data Quality Profile (DQP) is a tool which is generated annually for each SEER registry.  This profile assesses the extent to which each registry provides data meeting certain contractual standards.  For example, the DQP includes the percent of cases for which a specific data item is coded as unknown and compares that result to the desired goal. 


Annual data are also subjected to trend analyses to identify areas needing improvement and to monitor outcomes from quality-oriented interventions. Each SEER registry is evaluated annually based on the DQP report. Registries with exceptional DQP results are recognized by SEER.



Forming a Hospital Cancer Registry in West Africa During the Ebola Era  
Rebecca Cassady, RHIA, CTR Regional Director, DSCSP and John W. Morgan, DrPH, CPH Epidemiologist Regions 4 and 5


In September 2014, amidst fears of an impending Ebola outbreak, Becky Cassady, RHIA, CTR, Director, Region 5 of the SEER Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC) and John W. Morgan, DrPH, Professor of Epidemiology at Loma Linda University and Cancer Epidemiologist for Regions 4 & 5 of the CRGC, traveled to Ghana, West Africa, to assist in establishing a breast cancer registry in a private hospital (Peace and Love Hospital). The Peace and Love Hospital in Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana, was established in October 2002 for diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Since it was founded, 1,301 breast cancer patients have received diagnosis or care at the Peace and Love Hospital. 



To continue this article click here.


All of us at CRGC wish each of you a very happy holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year! The CRGC Sacramento office will be closed December 22nd through December 26th.

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